Latest News on Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., and DeAndre Hopkins

The 2023 NFL free agency period will bring a slew of rumors and news that will affect every team in the league. Some of the biggest stars we know could switch teams through trade or free agency. These include New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins and free agent Odell Beckham Jr.

We’ll be covering the latest rumors and news from the NFL Free Agency over the next few weeks. Bookmark this page as we’ll be adding everything you need to know as the news and rumors spread.

Latest NFL Free Agency Rumors and News

Vikings could part ways with Harrison Smith

Minnesota had a chance to clear its cap tally following a regime change last offseason, but chose to bust. They were rewarded by not selling their fortunes by going 13-4 in one of their unluckiest seasons ever. Their shocking loss to the Giants in the NFC wildcard round may have sparked significant change.

After linebacker Eric Kendricks, receiver Adam Thielen and pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith were released and linked to a possible deal with Dalvin Cook, the Vikings are reportedly considering cutting stalwart safetyman Harrison Smith, per Darren Wolfson by Skor North. The 34-year-old has a $19 million cap hit in 2023 and his release would open $7.3 million in cap space.

Smith was a phenomenal player during his Vikings career, earning six Pro Bowl nominations and one first-team All-Pro nomination. He was the team’s third-best tackler and was tied for the team lead in interceptions despite missing three games. His bloated $14.7 million base salary likely makes a trade difficult.

This is hard to justify, even if the Vikings need space in the cap. You’re losing a lot of talent for little in return.

Michael Thomas, Saints Near Extension

It appeared the Saints and Thomas would part ways this offseason after restructuring his contract to make a release more financially viable. His salary was cut from $15.5 million to $1.165 million. ESPN’s Field Yates, however, reported that Thomas and the Saints “seem to have smoothed things over” after previously calling out the team in a tweet.

MORE: Derek Carr is great near-term option for aging New Orleans Saints

The tide apparently turned after the Saints signed quarterback Derek Carr. Thomas was a key recruiter in bringing Carr to New Orleans, according to Carr’s brother David on his son’s Harvester Sports podcast. And now, New Orleans Football Network’s Nick Underhill has reported the team and Thomas entered into extension talks.

Darius Slay received permission to trade

After a Super Bowl trip, the Philadelphia Eagles must now manage the contract expectations that often accompany team success. Slay, 32, is entering the final year of his contract and is expected to earn a base salary of $17 million. According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, Slay has not applied for a trade, but he has been given permission to seek one.

His age and $26 million cap certainly drives Philadelphia to consider a deal. Though the Eagles say they “hope” he can stay on the team, it’s odd to give him permission to seek a trade when he hasn’t asked. Slay previously said, “Obviously I want an extension with the Eagles … But yeah, I love that money.”

If traded, the team would save less than $4 million in cap space and suffer a massive $22 million dead cap hit, and it would also have to make a plan with free agent cornerback James Bradberry. Armed with two first-round picks, the Eagles were able to bounce back by drafting a rookie.

DeAndre Hopkins hears the trade rumors

The Cardinals are in a difficult position. They have a terrible roster that needs revamping with more talent in the trenches, but a quarterback in Kyler Murray has a massive contract. Trying to balance winning when Murray is returning from a cruciate ligament rupture and building a deeper squad will be difficult.

The best asset the Cardinals can trade this offseason is Hopkins. The star receiver turns 31 this year and has a massive cap hit of $30 million in 2023. He told the Pat McAfee Show that he “heard a lot of trade talks,” but all he can do is keep his head down and work.

The Cardinals are looking for a second-round pick and a player or other pick, per Mike Jurecki of the Arizona Football Daily Podcast. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Hopkins is flexible when it comes to the last two years of his contract, which likely means he would extend his contract to lower his cap hits.

Odell Beckham Jr. will host a workout on Friday

After flirting with multiple teams late in the 2022 season while recovering from a cruciate ligament rupture, Beckham sat out the year as a deal never materialized to his liking. The Dallas Cowboys were the most prominent team to recruit him, even owner Jerry Jones saying “Odell will join us.” The odds were good.

MORE: Top 100 NFL Free Agents of 2023

But Beckham’s desired $20 million-a-year deal may have been an issue, as could his ability to play at a high level right away. Preparing to be the best free-agent receiver out there next week, Beckham posted a hyped video on his Instagram of him catching a deep pass. According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, he’s hosting a practice for interested NFL teams on Friday to show he’s perfectly healthy.

It’s hard to imagine Beckham making $20 million a year without massive incentives coupled with a decent base salary. This is especially true when Beckham wants to play for a competitor, not just the highest salary.


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